Apneic Oxygenation May Not Prevent Severe Hypoxemia During Rapid Sequence Intubation: A Retrospective Helicopter Emergency Medical Service Study

Sattha Riyapan, Jeffrey Lubin
Air Medical Journal 2016, 35 (6): 365-368

OBJECTIVE: This study sought to determine the effectiveness of apneic oxygenation in preventing hypoxemia during prehospital rapid sequence intubation (RSI).

METHODS: We performed a case-cohort study using a pre-existing database looking at intubation management by a single helicopter emergency medical service between July 2013 and June 2015. Apneic oxygenation using high-flow nasal cannula (15 L/min) was introduced to the standard RSI protocol in July 2014. Severe hypoxemia was defined as an incidence of oxygen saturation less than 90%. We compared patients who received apneic oxygenation during RSI with patients who did not using the Fisher exact test.

RESULTS: Ninety-three patients were identified from the database; 29 (31.2%) received apneic oxygenation. Nineteen patients had an incidence of severe hypoxemia during RSI (20.43%; 95% confidence interval, 12.77%-30.05%). There was no statistically significant difference between the rate of severe hypoxemia between patients in the apneic oxygenation group versus the control group (17.2% vs. 21.9%, P = .78).

CONCLUSION: In this study, patients who received apneic oxygenation did not show a statistically significant difference in severe hypoxemia during RSI.

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